With so much of our daily lives being so reliant on electricity, it’s a real pain in the behind when all those currents and volts suddenly disappear. It’s especially so if you’re out camping in the middle of nowhere… The side effects could range from a minor inconvenience or a life-or-death situation. As such, if you’re a keen outdoors person, a portable power station like the ALLPOWERS S700 is must-have equipment.
But even still, what good is a power station if it too runs out of charge? Well, ALLPOWERS is, at the time of writing, offering the S700 as a standalone unit for $649.99. But, for just a tiny bit more, you could get an additional 100W portable solar panel included as a bundle for an attractive $690.000. It’s a pretty big difference compared to a lot of the big-brand offerings. So, is it worth getting the ALLPOWERS, instead?
In short… Indeed! For a fraction of the cost, you’ll get a rather capable means of keeping all your gear or camping equipment charged up while you’re a way away from the nearest mains outlet. Let’s start with the solar panel, which has a max output of 100W. That is relatively low compared to some of the beefier ones that we’ve looked at before. Moreover, you likely won’t see 100W of output all too often, either.
Even on a bright and sunny day, you probably only get about half of that aforementioned maximum of 100W in output. That’s unless you angle and position it just right to get as much exposure to the sun as is possible. And, don’t get any sudden interruptions, such as cloud cover, which could significantly kneecap the output. To be fair, though, this is a common flaw with many other similar portable solar panel kits.
Praise The Power Of The Sun!
With that being said, there are plenty of positives to ALLPOWERS’s 100W solar panel. For starters, setting it up is a breeze. The panels fold open like a book, and you could prop it up with the built-in stands on the back of the solar panel. Also, there’s even a tiny pocket on the solar panel unit to stuff the charging cable in there… Which you can then plug directly into the power station to charge it up (more on that later).
Now, we’ve noted earlier that 100W of output is comparatively low to a lot of the solar panels that we’ve tested before. Nevertheless, there’s a (lot of) silver lining to this. With a “mere” 100W, this means that it’s not going to require a lot of solar elements on the panel itself. As a result, the entire solar panel is light. If you look at its rivals featuring whopping 400W outputs, they’re typically much bulkier and a lot heavier.
So, not only is ALLPOWERS’s 100W solar panel lighter and more compact to carry about with you, its lack of heft means that it’s easier to set up. Furthermore, it’s also much cheaper than those other solar panels from its competitors. Granted, ALLPOWERS does offer solar panels with higher outputs, if 100W won’t be enough for you. This segues us nicely to its sibling – the ALLPOWERS S700 portable power station.
Having mentioned the accompanying solar panel, the S700 has a screen on the front. This could give you crucial data, such as how much charge you have left in the battery pack. Or, the input and output amount. The former is pretty handy once you’ve plugged in the solar panel, so you may see precisely how much of that 100W is being outputted into the power station. That, and other metrics relating to charging.
Plenty Of Input… And Output
Another nice-to-have is the ability to pair the ALLPOWERS S700 to your phone with their app, connecting through Bluetooth. This allows you to control all the charging and features of the S700 remotely, and you don’t even need Wi-Fi… Which is perfect if you’re out in the middle of the woods. On the topic of charging, this is where the S700 excels, where it’s capable of outputting a maximum of 700W – hence, its name.
Although, it also has a surge capacity of 1,400W. This is fairly powerful for a portable power station with this size and form factor. In practice, it’ll handily power plenty of devices simultaneously, such as camping gear, a mini cooler, fans, outdoor lamps, or even a TV. Not to mention, smaller electronics like your phone, laptop, drone, and so forth. In total, the ALLPOWERS S700 has 9 different output ports.
That includes 2x AC, 3x USB-A, 2x DC, 1x USB-C, and 1x cigarette lighter plug. As far as input is concerned, the S700 charges through 6 more ports… AC, USB-C, car charger, and that aforementioned solar. If you’ll need it topped up quickly, it does feature a fast-charging function. To do this, you’ll need to charge it from an AC plug and a USB-C connection simultaneously, allowing them to charge at the same time.
In so doing, your ALLPOWERS S700 could be charged up speedily in just 1.5 hours to get from a 0% charge to 80%. Or, around 3 hours for a full charge. There’s no worry about overcharging it as well, thanks to the built-in internal battery management system. This allows the S700 to reliably take in all the charging and re-charging, yet protect the circuity against short-circuiting, overloading, in addition to overheating.
Capable, Yet Very Compact
Owing to the battery management system, the ALLPOWERS S700 has a claimed lifespan of more than 10 years of dependable charging. Speaking of, how big is that battery, anyway? Well, it has a total capacity of 606Wh. This is certainly larger than a lot of the smaller power station units that we’ve tested before. And, all of this is confined within a light and diminutive form factor.
Just like that solar panel from earlier, the S700 could be lugged around fairly easily. Particularly, with that handle on the top. So much so, that it feels like you’re carrying a 12V car battery. Yet, it’s about half of the weight of a typical 12V lead-acid battery, at around 5.3kg or 11.68 lbs for the ALLPOWERS S700. So, that’ll give you a good idea of how it feels to bring this with you on your next outdoorsy camping excursion.
On a side note, the S700 even has a small array of LED flashlights built-in, just in case you need to work in the dark. All in all, the ALLPOWERS S700 power station (especially when paired with that solar panel) is a perfect little charging unit and mega-battery bank on the go. Whether you’re going camping, planning a road trip, or want to stuff it inside your campervan. Or, you could also keep it at home, with you.
This could definitely qualify as a capable emergency backup power source for your electronics. If, there’s a blackout in your local grid. Compared to other power stations, the S700 might not have class-leading sets of features. Such as, the biggest battery or the highest output. But, it does all the things the big boys do… Yet, for a fraction of the price, it’s more lightweight, and could still keep the lights on when you need it.